Time zone

Myanmar (Burma) Standard Time is 6:30 hours (6 hours 30 minutes) ahead of (GMT+6:30).

Geography

Myanmar has total area of 676,577 sq. km, it is twice the size of Vietnam and about the size of United Kingdom and France combined. Geographically, Myanmar is the largest country in South-East Asian Peninsula sharing borders with Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and Thailand.

Visa Information

Any nationality visiting Myanmar requires a visa to Myanmar. Visa can be obtained at any of Myanmar Embassy near you. Most Myanmar Embassy has website and visa application form can be downloaded online. ( http://www.myanmarvisa.com/downloadform.htm). You can check detail information there. If there is no Myanmar Embassy at your home country, Bangkok is the best place to get your visa to Myanmar.

Language and Religion

Most people in Myanmar have a basic English speaking  skill though Myanmar language is in majority and 135 ethnics group has their own dialects. Besides English speaking tour guides, other languages such as French, Italian, German, Russian and Spanish speaking tour guides are available. Over 80% of Myanmar are believed in Buddhism and the rest with Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Animist.

Credit Cards

Only very few hotels and  restaurants accept credit cards. Recently American credit card giant Visa Inc. held a conference  to announce their intention to introduce Visa cards in Myanmar and some businesses have already begun accepting credit cards. USD is preferred and widely accepted throughout Myanmar. Euro is accepted in the larger cities like Yangon and Mandalay.

Climate and Weather

Myanmar’s Climate can be described as tropical monsoon climate. It is characterized by strong monsoon influences, has a considerable amount of sun, a high rate of rainfall, and high humidity that makes it sometimes feel quite uncomfortable. The annual average temperature ranges from 22 degrees Celcius (72° Fahrenheit) to 27 degrees Celsius (81° Fahrenheit) year-round.

Currency

The local currency is the kyat (pronounced “ chat”), which is divided into 100 pyas. Kyat notes are issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 45, 50, 90, 100, 200, 500 and 1000. As there are strict Foreign Exchange Control Regulations, visitors are advised to change their foreign currencies only at authorized moneychangers in banks, airport and hotels .

Area

The country covers an area of 677,000 square kilometers (261,228 square miles) ranging 936 kilometers (581 miles) from east to west and 2,051 kilometers (1,275 miles) from north to south. Population: 60 million (2010 census)

TIME

GMT +6 ½ hours

ELECTRICITY

Voltage: 220/ 230 volts AC, 50Hz; two-pin flat plugs are in use

INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

Yangon has direct air-links with  Bangkok,  Singapore,  Hong  Kong,  Kuala  Lumpur,  Kolkata,  Vietnam,  Chaingmai  and Kumming.

The Myanmar  Airways  International,  Thai  Airways,  Bangkok  Airways,  Silk  Air, Malaysia  Airline, Vietnam  Airlines,  China  southern  Airlines,  China  Eastern  Airlines,  Air  Asia, Air  Mandalay, Air Bagan and Air China operated scheduled flight  in  and  out  of  Yangon.

China Eastern Airlines fly to Mandalay. Air Bagan fly Yangon-Chiang  Mai-Yangon. All the international Flights use Yangon as gate way with the exception of China Eastern Airlines use Mandalay & Yangon International airport (Kumming – Mandalay – Kumming) ( Kumming- Yangon – Kumming)

Main Airports

Yangon International Airport

Air port Code: RGN
Location: The airport is situated 16km (10 miles) northwest of Yangon
Ground Transport: Metered Taxis are available.
Facilities: There are a few restaurants and bars available.

Mandalay International Airport

Airport Code: MDL  
Location: The airport is situated 35 km (21 miles) east of Mandalay, approximately an hour’s drive frim the city center.     Ground Transport: Taxis are available to city center; approximately an hour’s drive.

DOMESTIC TRAVEL & TRANSPORTATION

Domestic air services have greatly improved over recent years. However, railways, bus and steamer services still  improvement for the convenience of visitors. The  clients will travel by reliable Air Mandalay or Asian Wings airways or  Air Bagan ATR-flights and by air-con  vehicle. Baggage allowance on domestic flights is limited to 20kg.Excess Iuggage can be left in Yangon hotels for collection on return from upcountry.

Air-conditioned coaches, mini vans and cars can be arranged for tours inside the country. In remote areas, air-conditioned car or bus may not always be available and travelers are advised that the conditions of roads in Myanmar are not the same. Due to poor road conditions, long distance overland travel generally takes longer than the traveler might expect, averaging only 45-50 kilometers per hour.

HEALTH

There are no compulsory vaccinations but it is advisable to take precautions against malaria. Prescription drugs are not widely available and visitors should bring any required medication with them.  Insect repellents are recommended, in conjunction with other measures to prevent mosquito bites. The sun can be remarkably hot so a hat and sun block cream is advisable.

HOTELS

The hotels accommodation standards in Myanmar now vary widely, especially in terms of squality and available and refurbished hotels meeting  international standards are availability in most of the destinations like Yangon ,Mandalay, Bagan, Inle Lake, Kyaing Tong, Ngapali Beach, Ngwe Saung Beach and Chaung Thar Beach.In the remote areas very basic and simple hotels are available.

FOOD

Myanmar  cuisine use rice as staple dish, usually served with curries of meat or fish and variety of side dishes like vegetables, salads, soup, condiments etc. Curries tend to be less chili-hot than those served in Thailand, In order to give travelers a true feeling for the country, our  restaurants and foods are carefully selected for hygiene as well as gastronomic considerations. Meals & drinks at International Hotels are considerably expensive. There are many good local restaurants with almost the same quality of food and hygiene as hotels but at much more reasonable pricesl. They serve various dishes of Myanmar, Chinese, European (French and Italian), Thai and Indian cuisine. But roadside small restaurants are not recommended, as it can be risky for health.

SHOPPING

Myanmar arts and crafts, mostly hand-made, are best souvenirs. Lacquei ware, wood carvings, tapestries, silverware, brassware, silk and cotton fabrics and shoulder- bags are some of the favorite items. For jewelry, there are Myanmar rubies, sapphires, jade and pearls available at Myanmar gems shops. All gems and jewelry purchased should be made through government licensed dealers, who provide vouchers for export. Bargaining   is essential a reductions of up to 50% are not uncommon.

CUSTOMS

All foreigners are to declared, jewelry, electrical goods and cameras to the Customs at the Airport. Export of antiques is totally prohibited. Only gems and jewelry purchased at the licensed dealers, or who can issue an export permit are allowed to be taking out of the country. Visitors may bring in duty free 200 cigarettes, one quart of wine and one pint of perfume. Baggage may be inspected before departure. Laptop computers can be brought in freely for your own use.

CANCELLATION POLICY

Most hotels have twenty-one (21) days notice for groups and seven (7) days notice for individual travelers. Some have strict cancellation and deposit policies especially for bookings of River cruises and beach hotels.

TELECOMMUNICATION

Most hotels have IDD lines, but please be aware that the costs are very high with average cost of a call to Australia, Europe and USA approximately USD 8 per minute. But now for the convenient during stay at country the Pre Paid Sim cards for mobile telephones are available now in Myanmar. The sim card cost 50 US$ and can buy every shopping mall, also at mobile shop and some hotels. For local calls are charged US$1,5 per minute and incoming calls will charge US$0.05 per minute. To send SMS messages can do in Myanmar but for foreign countries is not possible. The GSM prepaid cards only valid for 30 days after activation. So your mobile phone can be brought in freely.

TIPPING

Widely practiced,  in addition to hotel and restaurant service charges shown on bills. Porters expect approximately 500-1000 kyats per bag; slightly more at airports.

SOME USEFUL ADVICE

Extra personal insurance is recommended for possible cases of illness, or situations where medical evacuation by air is required. It is required to dress decently within the precincts of religious buildings. Light clothing is required all year-round but a sweater or jacket may be needed in hilly areas, especially during winter months. If visiting during rainy season (May-September) an umbrella or raincoat will be required. Shoes and socks must be removed at pagodas and monasteries. Travelers are advised to keep away from touts who may approach them to exchange foreign currency or to sell gems of dubious quality. Travelers are also advised not to drink tap water, purified bottled water is available everywhere. Photography in airports, and near any military installation is forbidden. Please use discretion when photographing people, who may have superstitions against this. For close-up shots always ask first.

IMPORTANT NOTES

The ATM machines works for every foreigners to cash money with Visa ,Maestro Card or Master at all major airports in Myanmar and also Banks in major tour destinations.

From Visa ,Maestro Card or Master Card to USD cash back not available yet in any banks but somewhere and somebody do it.